Japan tightens health checks on travellers against swine flu

Japan tightens health checks on travellers against swine fluTokyo - Japan began checking temperatures of passengers arriving from Mexico Saturday after a swine influenza outbreak killed more than 60 people in Mexico and infected at least eight in the United States. The Japanese government on Saturday began tightening health checks on travellers entering the country through Narita and Kansai airports directly from Mexico or via the United States.

The Foreign Ministry has issued warnings about the disease and urged travellers heading to the Mexico to reconsider their plans, while the Health Ministry has received numerous enquiries via its telephone counseling services opened Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry instructed animal quarantine offices nationwide to examine any live pigs brought into Japan for signs of infection.

The quarantine office's thermographic imaging device detected no signs of infection on 177 passengers and crew members who arrived at Narita Saturday morning from Mexico, Jiji Press quoted airport authorities as saying.

In reaction to the situation, Mexico City closed its schools and President Felipe Calderon cancelled a visit to the northern city of Ciudad Juarez. (dpa)